During the past two weeks, I wrote two blog entries reflecting on the very special season that we are in. In part one, A Season of Reflection, Repentance, and Celebration, I wrote about this season of the “High Holy Days” (or to put it more accurately, the fall season of the Lord’s appointed times); Jewish people from around the world have been celebrating the Feast of Trumpets/Rosh Hashanah (The Jewish “new year”), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles).
It is indeed a very special season of reflection, repentance, and celebration. We reflect upon our lives, our relationship with our God, and with our neighbors. We repent and seek forgiveness from the Lord and from our brothers and sisters we have sinned against. We celebrate as we remember our great and awesome God, what He has done for us, and the great hope we have in Him for the future! It is a season that ought to bring a change in our lives as we rededicate ourselves to the Lord and to His calling on our lives.
In the second blog, A Season of Repentance!, I wrote about humbling our hearts before we come before the Lord, and to understand that the essence of repentance is to return to the Lord, return to walk in His ways, and dwell upon Him and His Holy Name.
I am devoting this week’s blog to a season of celebration; as we reflect upon the Lord, who He is, His holiness, undying faithfulness, love and grace, I can’t help but be thankful that He has considered me worthy to be called His child. Just reflecting upon that, makes me want to draw closer to Him! However, I understand that in order to draw closer to Him, I need to repent of my wrong ways and accept His ways into my daily life.
I celebrate the amazing fact that by His grace, my inequities are forgiven and wiped clean before Him, not just once a year, but because of the sacrifice of His Son, for all eternity. I celebrate today as I remember what He has done in the past, which gives me great assurance today, and an amazing hope for the future.
It is during this season that we build a sukkah (a booth) on the patio of my home; we do so in order to remember God’s faithfulness to the children of Israel, when He redeemed them from slavery in Egypt, and His miraculous provision for them as they journeyed through the wildnerness:
“‘On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the LORD for seven days, with a rest on the first day and a rest on the eighth day. ‘Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. ‘You shall thus celebrate it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. ‘You shall live in booths for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.’” So Moses declared to the sons of Israel the appointed times of the LORD.” Leviticus 23:39-43
I can’t wait to sit with my family in our sukkah, and together reflect on the wonderful fact that the God who redeemed the children of Israel and provided everything for them in the desert is the same God who has redeemed me, and continues to provide everything for me as I journey through this life. What a great reason to celebrate so many things that our Redeemer has done for us!
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